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Old 05-24-2010, 09:09 PM   #181
Harry94025
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John,

Thanks so much for the great RR and the follow-ups. You are a talented journalist and an inspiration to us all.

I hope you don't mind, I copied your Spanish motorcycling translations and have them taped up inside my DR650's tail luggage, just in case I find myself in Baja next year looking to buy a cotter pin...

Regards,
Harry
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Old 05-25-2010, 03:38 AM   #182
Sourjon
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I carry similar tire repair kit. My Motion Pro irons didn't have the wrenches so I cut the stock toolkit wrenches and welded them to the irons. Motion Pro is top rate in my book. One thing I gotta have I didn't see you mention is a chain tool. It saved me Sunday when the chain let go 100 miles from home. Sad thing is I knew it was on it's last legs and I had a new one in the garage. I keep a couple master links, 2 links from an old chain and a couple side plates and pins covered in grease in a ziplock.



John
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Old 05-25-2010, 04:37 AM   #183
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Hi Sourjon,

That is a nice toolkit you've got there! You've got all the bases covered that I do. I just didn't put it all in one picture like you did. I like it! Especially the patina on those tools.

These are the other tools I carry:



I carry a Motionpro chain tool and spare links and masterlink like you do.

Needlenose vice grips are handy and can double as a clutch or brake lever when clamped to the stub you have left if a lever breaks off when you dump your bike in the boonies. Little vicegrips are so handy most farmers and ranchers around here carry a pair in their overalls or jeans along with a pocketknife.

And a Leatherman in my pocket is so handy for its many uses. From making Peanut butter sandwiches and cutting up mangos to opening cans, cutting and stripping electrical wire, filing, sawing, etc. Sort of an ADVrider swiss army knife with screwdrivers, sidecutters and pliers thrown in.

I have to go to work, but will also post pictures of the spare parts I consider essential for a long trip into the unknown when I get a chance.

Thanks for following along and posting that nice pic.

Cheers,
John Downs
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Old 05-25-2010, 04:55 AM   #184
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harry94025
John,

Thanks so much for the great RR and the follow-ups. You are a talented journalist and an inspiration to us all.

I hope you don't mind, I copied your Spanish motorcycling translations and have them taped up inside my DR650's tail luggage, just in case I find myself in Baja next year looking to buy a cotter pin...

Regards,
Harry
Hi Harry,

Thanks for the kind words. I am glad you have found something you can use from this report.

I had such a great trip. And owe a debt of gratitude to ADVrider, having picked up so much useful info here over the years. So I am including this epilogue of what worked for me in my travels in the hopes that others will benefit in some way.

Sort of a Motorcycle Consumer News for ADVriders.
Or in my case MCN stands for Minimalist Consumer News.

Best,
John Downs
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Old 05-25-2010, 07:01 AM   #185
tylerjwhite
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JDowns
Hi Tyler,

I agree with Candohome. Just take the bike you have and head south for as long as you have money and time. GS 1150 is a great bike to head south on. I know it is hard for younger guys with a family to get away. So you have to really want it. Two weeks is enough time to have a lot of fun. And if you can get away for longer, so much the better. When you get to be an old fart like me you will never wish you had worked more and gone on fewer adventure rides.

Have fun!
John Downs

Thanks for the reply John and Candohome, I honestly think that is what I am going to do this winter or early spring. My biggest concern for now is security. Being on a BMW, even a 9 yr old one concerns me because I will stick out and I will have my wife with me. If I were alone I wouldn't care because I don't have a problem walking away from what I bring if something bad happens, and I have spent some time in a much more dangerous situation overseas. I think I can negate the risk with two or three of us (my friends) together. I would love any advice on that. I have heard lots of stories about all the crime in Mexico. However it all seems to be on the border towns gang on gang and way south in countries like Guatemala and Columbia. Also is the threat at night just the threat of robbery from poor people steeling or gangs or what?

Thanks

Tyler
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Old 05-25-2010, 02:39 PM   #186
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I have a small compressor but I don't carry it anymore. I use this pump I got from the Harley dealer. It is meant for low pressure front forks and has a lossless valve and a guage. About 10 inches long and very light. A little more work but the tires will operate very well at 15lbs of pressure. It will get there pretty quick. To get the bead set I keep a small travel bottle of baby powder in the tank panniers (good for other things too). Even with the hand pump I have gotten pretty fast doing trailside changes.



Here it is opened up.



I made a tool tube out of PVC and test caps to keep most tools in. Took some trial and error. It fell off in WVa. 1/2" SS bolts and it has survived a bunch of off road without a problem.



In it I have the tools in an electricians bag (there is your patina :)) with the space on each end stuffed with a couple of rags. Very heavy canvas and zipper. The stiching on it is from forgetting to put the cap back on and it being run over in the road before I could retrieve it.



Here's what is in it. The tire irons, Master link and assorted chain pieces, spare plug and wrench, duct tape rolled around a piece of copper, wire, zip ties, locktite, roach clip er... hemostats, screwdriver, rear wheel bearing retainer removal tool (two allens welded together), and a few assorted clamps, nuts and bolts that fit various places on this bike.



On the rear fender Honda provides a small case that originally had the oem tool kit.


This helps keep everything in place



Various metric wrenches, the pump, JB Weld, spare clutch and front brake lever and the owners manual in double ziplocks







In the left tank pannier I have the rear tube in the bottom, and R-L first aid kit, multimeter, patches and glue, bulbs and fuses, and because it is a known issue on this bike a spare CDI unit I picked up off the flea market. Ziplocked and rubber bands made from an old inner tube.




In the right tank pannier lives sunscreen and baby powder (for the tire changes),chain lube and a leatherman multi-tool. Under the seat I have a shifter and throttle and clutch cables that I picked up off the flea market used. Who cares they are spares and emergency use only. All this stays on the bike all the time and I don't even notice it is there which was part of my goal. I really should weigh it but it's surprisingly not that much.

Now I know all this is way over the top most of the time but I like being self sufficient. Too many times I have lent parts and tool to unprepared riders and was glad to do it. Just glad it wasn't me that was stranded.


John
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Old 05-25-2010, 04:25 PM   #187
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just came across this RR ... wow ! ride on my brother !!
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Old 05-25-2010, 07:28 PM   #188
candohome
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You have nothing to be afraid of...

Keep your eyes open and be aware of what is going on around you. I do both and was picked twice. Once at the Pan American Nicaragua/Costa Rica while sitting down to lunch. One guy distracted me while a kid unzipped my bag that was one me and to the side. Then again here in Quito. A guy spilled some mustard or something on the back of my jacket in the door way of a market and got me to take that same fanny pack off and set it on an ice cream freezer. He spun me around like a $2 whore and he and the bag where gone that fast. Standing outside the door where he should have been was the local beat cop. Another team take. 5 months 5000 miles two rip offs. Dont carry a fanny pack and the less you have the less you lose.

Do not believe the hype about Mexico, and so as not to jack this thread cut up used inner tube material in various strips, they make great rubber ties for everything.
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Old 05-25-2010, 08:26 PM   #189
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[QUOTE= He spun me around like a $2 whore and he and the bag where gone that fast. .. Dont carry a fanny pack and the less you have the less you lose.
[/QUOTE]




Hey candohome,

That's quite a visual image!

Yes, I avoid fanny packs and tankbags like the plague in third world countries. As well as GPS and anything bling on the bike or on my person. Anything of value I keep hidden under my riding clothes in interior pockets or a moneybelt around my waist tucked in my pants. Of course, I travel solo and like the peace of mind of not having anything I care if I lose on the bike.
But in case people get the wrong impression , I met nothing but friendly and helpful people traveling to Panama and back.

Still I am sorry for your loss.

Best,
John Downs
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Old 05-25-2010, 08:34 PM   #190
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sourjon
I have a small compressor but I don't carry it anymore. I use this pump I got from the Harley dealer. It is meant for low pressure front forks and has a lossless valve and a guage. About 10 inches long and very light. A little more work but the tires will operate very well at 15lbs of pressure. It will get there pretty quick. To get the bead set I keep a small travel bottle of baby powder in the tank panniers (good for other things too). Even with the hand pump I have gotten pretty fast doing trailside changes.


Hey John,

That is a really cool hand pump. What brand is it? I want one! And thanks for the pics of your tool and spare parts set up. Nice! Well thought out and that XRL looks lean and loaded for anything. Good stuff!

Cheers,
John Downs
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Old 05-25-2010, 09:03 PM   #191
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[QUOTE=Thanks for the reply John and Candohome, I honestly think that is what I am going to do this winter or early spring. My biggest concern for now is security. Being on a BMW, even a 9 yr old one concerns me because I will stick out and I will have my wife with me. If I were alone I wouldn't care because I don't have a problem walking away from what I bring if something bad happens, and I have spent some time in a much more dangerous situation overseas. I think I can negate the risk with two or three of us (my friends) together. I would love any advice on that. I have heard lots of stories about all the crime in Mexico. However it all seems to be on the border towns gang on gang and way south in countries like Guatemala and Columbia. Also is the threat at night just the threat of robbery from poor people steeling or gangs or what?[/QUOTE]



Hey Tyler,

I would read Dwj-Donnies ride report:

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=550086

He rode around Mexico with his wife for a month on his nice BMW GS and had a blast. My advice is to just go. Imagine if Mexicans were afraid to ride up to Utah on their GS12s because of the newspaper accounts they had been reading about the drug and crime stats in downtown Salt Lake City. HELLO. What about Moab, Bryce, Zion, Kolob road, etc. etc. etc. I would tell those Mexicans that Utah is a great place to ride with wonderful backroads and byways and friendly folks in the small rural towns. Utah is EXCELLENTAY!

Mexico and Central America are no different. Go to the Moabs, Bryces and Zions of Mexico and stay away from the Salt Lake Cities and you will have a great time. Latin America is EXCELLENTE!

I have the advantage of not watching the news or reading the newspaper, so was able to form my own opinions first hand, and I say GO. Two up with the wife on a kickass GS cruising around Latin America sounds like heaven to me!

Kindest regards,
John Downs
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Old 05-25-2010, 09:11 PM   #192
xymotic
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One interesting insight I heard WRT theft in South America.

BMW's were considered 'safer' because there were not too many, and therefore no market for parts, and therefore less theft.

Riding a Kawi, Honda, Suzuki or a HD and you're more likely to get offered the opportunity to give someone the bike at gunpoint. Dunno if it's true or not, but it does actually kinda make sense.
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Old 05-25-2010, 09:54 PM   #193
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xymotic
One interesting insight I heard WRT theft in South America.

BMW's were considered 'safer' because there were not too many, and therefore no market for parts, and therefore less theft.

Riding a Kawi, Honda, Suzuki or a HD and you're more likely to get offered the opportunity to give someone the bike at gunpoint. Dunno if it's true or not, but it does actually kinda make sense.


Hey Xyotic,

Where did you hear that? It sounds like a good excuse you tell your wife to get an expensive European bike. She wouldn't know that there are very few Kawasakis or Harleys in Latin America so it might work.

I have been reading your most excellent ride reports cruising around on your Husky. That is a nice bike.

No chance you will be held up. They would see that Husky crown on the front fender and realize you are royalty.

I keed. I keed.

Lots of paranoid Latin American stories. It makes me smile. I will continue to ride the world and report back what I find. People keep telling me it's dangerous out there over the next hill. It might be. I haven't found it yet. I'm still looking though. That's what puts the ADV in ADVriding!

Best,
John Downs
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Old 05-26-2010, 02:08 AM   #194
SnoozeRat
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JDowns

The reason I live in rural Nebraska is because it is the perfect place for a minimalist to live. It is in the middle of the country so close to everywhere and it is cheaper than the third world. Houses around here are dirt cheap. I bought a nice old house 2 years ago for 7500.00. Cost less than a used truck:




And the property taxes are 166.00/year, so my housing cost is 14.00/month plus utilities. Most people in the U.S. roll their eyes when I tell them I live in rural Nebraska. But the people around here are really friendly, there is plenty of work and I can save a lot of money for traveling during the winter months when the weather in the northern plains is less than ideal.
Great post! Skimmed some, but will spend the next couple days looking at it more.

Love your approach to a home. It's gotten so ridiculous to see where prices have gone for what you get (you start spending more money the second you step inside) that we're considering a less expensive area, and then lots of travel to the places we want to go.
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Old 05-26-2010, 04:21 AM   #195
Chickenlegs
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Great RR!!! Love the pics, and info. Ride on!
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